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A lean transportation approach for improving emergency medical operations.Villarreal, Bernardo; Garza-Reyes, Jose Arturo; Granda-Gutiérrez, Edgar; Kumar, Vikas; Lankenau-Delgado, Samantha; Universidad de Monterray; University of Derby; University of the West of England (Taylor and Francis, 2018-08-14)This paper extends the approach of Lean transportation to improve the performance of emergency medical processes (EMP) by adapting its main concepts into the main characteristics of the EMP environment. The paper is based on an inductive theory-building process initiated from a case study in the field of emergency medical services. The development of the suggested performance improvement approach triggered from an exhaustive analysis of a process involved and an exploratory review of the existing improvement approaches available. The process of concern can be described as a specialized transportation process, where human lives are at risk. Its characteristics led to a natural application of Lean transportation. The results include, a novel approach for improving the agility and efficient EMS processes. This is validated with an application for improving ambulance response times and turnaround times of the Red Cross operations located in Monterrey, Mexico. The approach proved to be an integrated scheme for identifying waste opportunities at a systems level. This characteristic is important to let operations management prioritize improvement efforts in a limited budget situation. This work suggests the application of the emerging Lean transportation approach for increasing the agility performance of EMS processes.